The God of Soho review at Shakespeares Globe London
Chris Hannan’s play about celebrity excess in the low down and sleazy world of Soho vice and celebrity is nothing if not weird.
Phil Daniels plays Big God in a heavenly world of gold leaf and togas, who seems to have gone off Mrs God because she farts all the time. Their daughter, a Scouse goddess of love, called Clem, is devastated after being rejected by someone called new God and she is banished to earth where she becomes fascinated by a reality star and her rock star boyfriend.
This should be the moment where we are meant to ponder questions of reality, celebrity, meaning, true love, fakery and how passion can survive in the modern world. But we don’t. Not least because of the gnomic pretentiousness of the language and the lazy structure. Worse still, there is rarely a moment where Hannan does not want to deck his stage in women in lingerie, bondage gear or men dancing in hotpants. My guess is for want of ideas.
There are flashes of clever thought-through stagecraft and Hannan certainly has a vital turn of phrase and a stunning visual sense. “I will eat this problem and shit it,” says Daniels at one point. But he could have been talking about the editing of this play which seems non-existent.
The writer is also so in love with spectacle and the sound of his own voice that often ideas simply sparkle and fizzle out. This ultimately makes this latest play in the Globe’s The Word is God series a workshop of ideas with no coherence or direction and a failure for the usually admirably bold and experimental artistic director Dominic Dromgoole.
Shakespeare’s Globe, London, August 27-September 30
- Chris Hannan
- Raz Shaw
- Shakespeare’s Globe
- Cast includes
- Phil Daniels, Miranda Foster, Edward Hogg, Emma Pierson, Iris Roberts, Will Mannering
- Running time
- 2hrs 30mins